Freeport city leaders look to move forward with city hall future - – Rockford’s News Leader

Freeport city leaders look to move forward with city hall future


Preserving a place in history versus staying within budget; It's a tug-of-war that Freeport city officials have been trying to agree on for some years now when it comes to city hall's future.

"We will have our own building and it will be defined as city hall of Freeport," Freeport City Engineer, Shaun Gallagher said.

That's something the city hasn't had in almost three years.

Currently working out of 524 West Stephenson Street, city leaders have had to share the building with a slew of other business's. That, however, could soon change.

The hope is to get out of the current temporary building and into the old Carnegie Library by the start of next year.

"The floor plan works out very well for the size of staff that we currently have. It kind of isolates wings which we don't have right now. That's a big benefit with all the staff in one place," Gallagher said.

The original budget allotted for $2 million dollars in renovations.  The current proposed project sits at $2.2 million dollars.

"Our hope was to include more external improvements, but our budget simply doesn't allow that," Gallagher said.

Things like additional security, lights for the monuments and other cosmetic needs will have to wait for now.

That's because the city's focus is on upgrading the nuts and bolts of the building, like electrical and plumbing, and making it accessible to people with disabilities.

"We want to make sure we have a maintenance plan that doesn't make it that we are coming back in 10 years and spending another $2 million dollars," Gallagher said.

City leaders now want to hear the public's thoughts and concerns with the current proposal. They are holding a open house on March 30th from 5 pm.-7 p.m.

Contractors will take that information to finalize plans.

The goal is to get a final contract signed of in April, and construction to start by summer.

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